Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Section 7 - Liza


“Should we get Chinese food?”

I’m sitting with Dad at the kitchen table now. I see James, Eve, and Maggie outside. I’m not sure where Tom is. He was down here before but he must have gone out for a walk or something. Dad smiles at me.

“Never heard of it.”

He plays up his New York accent so that heard sounds more like hoid. I take this answer to mean yes so I walk over to Mom’s old desk, which looks out onto the backyard. There are still cluttered papers on the desk, notes of things to do. She had the date of Parents’ Weekend at my school written down on a blue post-it. The note is in my hand and I make a fist crumpling it. I feel the adhesive in my palm and I drop the ball of paper. It hits the light colored wood of the desk and bounces once. I see her old address book, beaten and colored by time and dust. The cloth flower print binding is frayed in so many places and there are all kinds of odd pieces of paper sticking out of it in different colors. I open it up and begin leafing through.

Anderson, Joan 101 Shaker Drive 631-689-4277

Christian, Terri 43 Colonial Way 751-0123

Hulse, Lindsay 2 Bay Street 689-8819
corner near Main

O’Donnell, Connor 22 Old Grey Road 631-941-9491

I’m past the S section when I see a small scrap of white paper pressed down in the nook where the pages meet the binding. The writing is in red ink and it looks like the writing of a child. “Mom- went to Shore Deli with James and Paul. Love, James” I put the paper back down in its nook and press the book with its worn out binding closed. Then I reach underneath the desk lamp to the ceramic envelope where Mom kept all of our takeout menus. I pull out the Eastern Pavilion one and begin to cry. I’m crying and crying and I can’t stop. I turn around back to the table and I slide the menu along the surface. Dad is looking at me. I feel the heat of my tears and the blood rising and filling my cheeks and the snot that is filling my nose, running a little bit down towards my lips. I pull a napkin out of the holder, which is a wooden house painted blue with a red roof and even one little puff of grey smoke coming out of a black chimney. Dad is looking at me.

“I don’t remember the food being that bad.”

I laugh and the laughter rises through my tears and I’m shrugging and holding the napkin upwards in my right hand. Dad is drinking. I don’t know what to do. But I hate this house with its brick chimney and because it’s so big and not small and wooden and sitting on a table. It sits on a small hill and is full to the brim of objects and memories.

I’m crying. Dad is drinking. And I killed mom because I went to college.

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